The Planet Smashers - Unstoppable (Cover Artwork)

The Planet Smashers

Unstoppable (2005)

Union Label Group / Stomp

I've been known to say that Montreal's Planet Smashers are one of the last remaining great bands that ska still has to offer. Their 2003 album put a ska album into my regular rotation for the first time since the turn of the century, even. Well, no more. 2005's Unstoppable sees the band choke so bad I have to look away.

Considering this band's consistency, "more of the same" was a perfectly reasonable expectation from their sixth full-length album. And, that's what the band tried to achieve, I speculate at least, but this time around they're not even pretending to have a written a new album. Every line sounds rehashed and self-plagiarised, owing to the fact that there's not a single catchy melody or half-decent sing-along. Far too many songs are tediously slow; aside from the cringeworthy and repetitive "Raise Your Glass," there's hardly anything uplifting to be found here. There's not even any chilled-out reggae tracks; it's all mid-tempo album-stuffing.

They don't sound like they're having fun anymore; they're on autopilot, pulling songs out of their asses because they've been doing ones just like them for so long they can get away with it. It works when I write term papers, but I expect better from bands I like.

[originally written for Punk International]